Events: October : From Western Arts to Witches


At the Sedona Arts Festival, Oct. 9-10, artists and collectors won't be the only ones filling the town park, known as the Posse Grounds. Local restaurants will set up booths for "A Taste of Sedona," selling samples of their specialties. A local theater company will perform "Shakespeare in the Dark," 20-minute spoofs of the Bard's plays. The nonstop entertainment includes Indian dancers as well as country dance lessons. For more information, contact the Sedona Arts Festival, P.O. Box 2729, Sedona, Ariz. 86339; telephone (602) 282-8949.


The World Cup Finals in windsurfing take place off Ho'okipa Beach near the town of Paia, on the north shore of Maui, Oct. 31-Nov. 9. The area usually is graced by the required gusts between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day. This 10th annual event is expected to draw 130 competitors from 26 countries. Thousands of spectators will watch from shore, where food vendors and souvenir sellers stake out their sandy spots. The beach is on the famous road to Hana. For more information, contact Ehman Productions, P.O. Box 479, Paia, Maui, Hawaii 96779; tel. (808) 575-9151.


"Fantasy Fest" in Key West, Oct. 22-31, mixes Mardi Gras and Halloween themes into 35 events, many of them with a typically wacky Key West tilt. The theme this year is "Lost in the Sixties," and since the organizers haven't said which '60s, many attendees are planning to wear circa-1860s costumes. The pet masquerade parade draws animals and owners (some in matching costumes) and runs the gamut from dogs to snakes and birds. The highlight of the week is the Rolling Rock Twilight Fantasy Parade with an expected 50,000 revelers on Oct. 30. Other events: a masked march, haunted house, beach parties and motorcycle parade. For more information, contact Fantasy Fest, P.O. Box 230, Key West, Fla. 33041; tel. (305) 296-1817.


"Baltimore on the Bay," the Oct. 1-24 celebration of the city's maritime heritage, is a chance to enjoy, and even gorge upon, Maryland's famous shellfish. The event kicks off with an oyster shuck-off and winds up with a crab feast. In between are seafood feasts and food festivals, and for those with broader interests, a parade of tall ships (with on-board tours) and the blessing of the fleet. For more information, contact the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Assn., 300 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 21201; tel. (800) 282-6632.


Salem takes advantage of its 300-year-old history of witchcraft with "Haunted Happenings," 80 Halloween-related events scheduled Oct. 23-31. A few highlights: spell-casting workshops, witch-trail walks by candlelight, a psychic fair, murder mystery dinners, scavenger hunts and graveyard tours. Visitors can dance with the witches at costume balls. The Salem Witch Museum also plans special events. For more information, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, Mass. 01970; tel. (508) 744-0004.

Cayman Islands

Pirates Week, celebrated Oct. 22-31 on Grand Cayman, takes an unsavory chapter of Caribbean history and makes it family-oriented. Caymanians dressed as pirates and wenches re-enact the landing of a galleon and hold a mock battle and trial. There are street dances, fireworks, a float parade and, for children, their own costume contest, underwater treasure hunt and triathlon. For more information, contact the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, 3440 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1202, Los Angeles 90010; tel. (213) 738-1968.


The Nottingham Goose Fair, Oct. 7-9 at the Forest Recreation Ground, dates from the days of Robin Hood. It has been held annually since 1284, except during the Black Death of the mid-14th Century and the two 20th-Century world wars. Livestock competitions feature geese as well as sheep, cattle and swine. There's also a huge carnival with "roundabouts" (merry-go-rounds) and "hoopla" games. Nottingham is in the middle of the country, 130 miles north of London. For more information, contact the British Tourist Authority, 350 S. Figueroa St., Suite 450, Los Angeles 90071; tel. (213) 628-3525.

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